Sunday, October 2, 2011

Googling What?

Today I was on the Internet before first light, Googling It Started with Dracula even though I’d already signed up for Google Alerts. This is what happens, and I’ll warn you: It’s addictive.
Google Alerts is set up to send an e-mail to my G-Mail account whenever certain words or phrases pop up on the Internet. That’s how I discovered a blogger’s review of ISWD based on my recent signing at Concord University.
The first time I Googled myself, I could barely look. Seeing my own name on the screen was embarrassing, like the day in high school French when our teacher audio-taped each of us and then played the tapes back for the whole class.
It gets easier.
I figure I’ll sound like an egomaniac telling you about my new obsession, checking the Internet for all signs of my book: reviews, author events, news articles, and sales. I worry about that, but remember: The publisher publicizes your book; you publicize yourself. With Halloween approaching, October is a key month for It Started with Dracula. Of course I’m interested in its availability and sales! Of course I want to know what people are saying!
Amazon has an author service called Author Central that reports book and Kindle sales, catalogs customer reviews, and allows authors post their bios and pictures. I discovered Author Central with the help of Pastor Gregory Hunt, whose Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night hits stores Oct. 3. Check out Author Central at
The Internet is the fastest and most fascinating source of information for authors. I found out by visiting my sites that Amazon released my memoir last Friday, notifying those who had pre-ordered that their book was on the way. I learned that a Facebook friend had just downloaded my book to her Kindle. I discovered that my memoir had been inaccurately described as a novel in a local column. This morning I saw on the Barnes & Noble website that one of our local stores has ISWD in stock! Guess where I’m going later today? I’m taking a camera, too.
If you’re a writer and you haven’t Googled yourself or your work, give it a try. It’s part of your job to know what’s out there. We all need to manage our careers, even at 4:00 a. m..